Personal Bag Tracking Gets FAA Nod


Since the airlines seem particularly challenged at keeping track of baggage these days, the FAA has cleared passengers to monitor their checked luggage’s location themselves. According to PocketLint the agency has ruled that operating Apple AirTags can be fastened to bags stowed in the holds of airliners. There had been concerns the tiny lithium batteries inside the transmitters might pose a fire hazard but the agency says the 0.01 gram of lithium in the little trackers’ batteries aren’t a flight hazard. It has actually set the limit at 0.03 grams for tags fastened to luggage.

Passengers began attaching the devices to bags as the airline business emerged from the pandemic and their systems strained under the various staffing and supply chain challenges that ensued. Baggage handling was particularly hard hit. Last week, Lufthansa announced it would no longer permit AirTags that were turned on because of the battery question. German authorities quickly cleared them for flight and the FAA followed a few days later. The trackers will let owners know where their bags are; whether that information will speed up their delivery by the airlines isn’t clear.

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.

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    • It’s actually pretty cool. We bought two of these and they’re cheap insurance. If your bag doesn’t arrive there’s a strong chance (although not guaranteed) that you’ll know the location. It piggybacks of nearby Bluetooth phones to send location data. In one case we told the airline rep where our bag was and she called that location and verified it would get on the next flight. We knew before the airline called that the bag had made its way the next day. Just drove to the airport and picked it up.

      The downside is that once you can track it you kinda get obsessed watching for it every ten minutes – lol.

  1. Best part is you can see if your bags are on the plane. As long as someone sitting in the plane near your bag in the hold has an iPhone, it will report back to you. 8 flights this year and it has worked each time.